I would say 8 in all cases.
I had thought for some time that you and Azz were the same person. Why the different screen names?
Student or Learner
1) Four guards were standing on each side of me.
2) Four guards were standing on either side of me.
3) Four guards were standing on both sides of me.
In which case do we have
a) eight guards in all
and in which cases do we have
b) four guards in all.
I and Azz are married and both have the same job (translation and editing). The problem is that I always mess up and use her account, which gets on her nerves.
I have to admit that I got her addicted to this kind of question! Now we are both obsessed with grammar!